Knockdown Texture Vs. Orange Peel

Texturing your walls or ceilings can be a great way to add a bit of character to your house. However, when texturing your walls or ceilings, you can waste a lot of money if you don’t do the proper research to determine what a texture is or how to apply it. Two of the most popular textures are knockdown and orange peel. What are knockdown and orange peel, and how do they compare?

Knockdown texture and orange peel are textures added to walls using “drywall mud.” Orange peel is usually applied using a texture spray gun. In contrast, knockdown texture uses different application methods, and a trowel flattens the surface to provide a cleaner and less rough finish.

There are a couple of critical ways that knockdown texture and orange peel differ. Some of the ways they differ include the finished surface, the application process, and even the amount of work needed to maintain the look. Knowing the differences between these two wall textures is essential to avoid disappointment and save yourself extra expenses.

How Knockdown Texture Is Applied

Knockdown texture is a generalization of a few methods of texturizing your wall. There are different methods to apply this texture to your wall. Two of the most commonly used types are stomping and splatter. These respective textures use various tools for the initial application, but what makes a texture a knockdown texture is the use of a flat instrument to flatten the texture and create a smoother finish.

There are different ways to apply the knockdown wall texture to your wall. Though there are various ways to start the process, the classification of the texture being “knockdown” comes from the last step in the process. You can use a paint roller, a texture sprayer, a paintbrush, or a stomping brush to begin by applying drywall mud to the surface.

Once the initial texture application is on the wall, you will need to wait before continuing to allow some of the drywall mud to dry. Once the texture has dried somewhat, a trowel or similar tool needs to be used to flatten or “knockdown” the surface. This step creates a less bumpy and more smooth finish to the wall.

How Orange Peel Texture Is Applied

Orange peel is a less flat and more rough texture when compared to knockdown. This texture has derived its name from the look and feel, which resembles an orange peel. This texture is less forgiving and requires the perfect mixture to keep the “mud” from running down the wall rather than staying in place.

There are fewer application options for orange peel than for knockdown textures. Orange peel also uses drywall mud, but it is usually only applied using a texture sprayer. Orange peel is created by mixing drywall compound and water to make the perfect mixture that will stick to the wall. Once the mixture is ready, it is loaded into a texture sprayer and applied to the wall.

In contrast to knockdown texture, there is no additional step to the process. The texture on the wall is then allowed to dry thoroughly without flattening it.

Easier To Apply: Orange Peel Or Knockdown Texture

Since orange peel and knockdown texture consist of similar materials, I will not discuss the mixing process in this section.

Once the mixture is correct, Orange peel requires only that you load the mix into a texture gun and spray it on the wall. After that, the “mud” needs to dry, and no further steps are necessary unless a second coat is required, which is usually not the case.

On the other hand, as mentioned above, knockdown texture requires more tools and a bit more work. Once the mixture has been applied to the wall using a brush, spray gun, or trowel, you will need to go over the entire area to flatten the texture once it is ready and less wet. Depending on how you apply this texture, you might need to do the first coat of just the flat mixture before adding texture.

Knockdown texture requires more work, more tools, and more time when looking at the steps necessary to make it look good. This fact means that orange peel should be the easier texture to apply.

Easier To Maintain: Orange Peel Or Knockdown Texture

Before starting to texture a surface, an essential aspect to research is the work and effort needed to keep the texture in good shape. Cleaning, painting, and the ability to make repairs and patch damaged areas are essential to consider.


Both orange peel and knockdown texture are wall textures that protrude from the wall, meaning that maintenance and cleaning can be a bit of a hassle. As with most textured walls or ceilings, some dust might collect on the protruding parts, so you will have to clean the surface regularly.

Though you need to do it often, cleaning these surfaces doesn’t require much work. You can use a feather duster, vacuum cleaner, or cloth to keep the surfaces sufficiently clean and dust-free.


Painting your textured surfaces, especially walls, does not require much extra work. You will need paint and primer to have the best results.

First, you will need to coat your textured surface with primer. Using primer ensures minimal to no damage to the texture while allowing the paint to stick and cause less of a mess. Once your primer coat is applied, allow it to dry before starting the painting process.

To paint a textured surface isn’t much harder than painting flat surfaces. You want to be sure to coat the wall entirely without using too much paint that takes away from the textured effect. You can use a roller for most of the surface and a brush to get into corners or more challenging to reach areas.

Once you have completed the first coat, allow it to dry and repeat the process until you are happy with the result.


Whether your ceiling sustained damage, or you just want to undo the damage caused by a table scratching your wall, there are a couple of reasons you might need to repair, patch, or cover a part of your textured surface.

Orange peel is easy to repair or patch as there are only three possible spray gun sizes, and the rest of the technique is always the same. Simply make a drywall compound and water mixture, load it into your spray gun, and cover the area until it looks similar to the rest. Once the texture has dried, apply primer and paint over the area with the same paint used before.

Repairing or fixing your knockdown texture can be easy but can also be near impossible, depending on the knockdown texture and your ability to recreate it. If you have the tools to make it look the same as the rest of the surface, you can try to recreate the texture before doing a primer coating and painting the area the same color as the rest.

However, if you do not have the tools needed to copy the previous texture, you might need to call a professional, and even then, you might be out of luck. Knockdown textures are notoriously hard to recreate and repair if the initial design is intricate. Some people have reported that they needed to redo or cover the entire surface to allow the repair to not look out of place.

When it comes to repairs and patching, you have a higher chance of fixing any damage with orange peel than knockdown texture.

Durability Of Orange Peel Vs. Knockdown Texture

Though both of these textures consist of similar components, like drywall compound and water, they don’t have the same amount of durability. The difference in durability is mainly due to the size of the texture and its parts.

Orange peel consists of a fine spray of mixture droplets that stick to the surface that you are texturizing. Though it seems that more surface area is covered when using orange peel texture, the fact that the droplets are so tiny makes them strong and less prone to breaking or being damaged.

When texturizing a surface with knockdown texture, you flatten the mixture applied to the wall. This means that the fragile drywall mixture, once dried, can be easily damaged as it covers a more significant area.

Knockdown Texture Vs. Orange Peel 01

Which Texture Is More Customizable

Due to the nature of the application when texturing a surface with orange peel, there is minimal choice of customization. The one choice you have is the nozzle size of the spray gun you use. However, orange peel usually utilizes the smallest nozzle to achieve the best results as the bigger nozzles are used more often for other textures like knockdown.

However, the knockdown texture is one of the most customizable forms of texturing. As seen by the many different tools you can use to apply this texture, there is an excellent range of customizability. Different applications result in different results, so you can research the tools you need to achieve a specific look.

Reasons To Add Texture And Which Is Best

There are several reasons why someone might want to add texture to the walls or ceilings of their house. Three of the most common reasons include adding character to your space, making the wall look better, and helping acoustics. For each of these purposes, there is a texture that works best.

Adding Character

Adding texture to the surfaces of your house is a great way to add character and make your house feel homier if you wish. When adding texture to your walls, you create an additional layer of depth to the space around you, making the house feel warmer or more receptive to the people inside. The opposite tends to be true for larger areas with all flat surfaces.

When it comes to adding character to your space, I think the knockdown texture is best simply due to the number of choices. There are many more texture choices for knockdown textures than there are for orange peel. Both of these textures are great for adding character, but the knockdown texture is best for customization.

Making The Surface Look Better

This specific reason is much more common for newly built houses that use drywall to separate the living areas. Making drywall look good or applying a finish can be a long and expensive process with multiple steps and coats over the drywall itself. If you wish to cut down on the amount of work needed to make your drywall walls look good, adding texture to the walls is a great option.

After the drywall is up, all you need to do is cover any cracks or joints in the wall, and after that has dried, you are ready to start with texturizing.

If you are looking to add texture to your walls to improve the look of the drywall while saving time, I would recommend using the orange peel texture. Seeing as knockdown texture takes much longer and has much more work involved when compared to orange peel, the logical choice is to use the orange peel texture instead.

The orange peel texture is much faster than doing a regular finish on your drywall, as it covers any joints, cracks, or holes left from the installation of your drywall.

Improving Acoustics

Many people use textured walls and ceilings to help keep sound from traveling out of the room. Though there is some noise reduction when doing this, the amount is minimal compared to soundproofing your room or house.

The preferred texture to help with soundproofing is popcorn texture. Popcorn texture does not fall into knockdown or orange peel textures as the look and feel is more prominent, more jagged, and rough. If you want to stick to using either knockdown texture or orange peel to help soundproof your house, I recommend using orange peel instead of knockdown.

My choice is because of the size and amount of “waves” on the surface. The knockdown texture is flattened after initial application making it more smooth and meaning that it does not “trap” sound as other textures would.

Though orange peel is not the most effective at stopping sound, the amount of droplets created when applying this texture creates more obstacles for sound to bounce off of, making it a little more effective than flattened textures.


Though orange peel is not the most popular texture for your walls or ceilings, it seems a better option than knockdown due to the application process and ease of repairs. These textures are both great for adding some exciting character to your house. Just be sure you pick the one that is best for you.